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8:22:22 PM
Scots pull plug on Argentina game
Argentina striker Lionel Messi
Scotland fans won't see Argentina striker Lionel Messi at Hampden

The Scottish Football Association have pulled out of the proposed November friendly against Argentina at Hampden.

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith canvassed supporters on the viability of the match but negative reaction has led to the idea being dropped.

It would have cost around £1m to stage resulting in increased ticket prices.

"Despite support for the idea, people said there were issues around paying a premium price for a midweek match at that time of year," Smith said.

In an unusual move, Smith asked the Tartan Army if they would be interested in a glamour match with the South Americanas, with ticket prices likely to be higher than a normal friendly international.

"Since we started the debate on the proposed Argentina game last week we have been inundated with calls, letters and emails from Scotland fans," Smith said.

Despite support for the idea most people said there were issues around paying a premium price for a midweek match at that time of year

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith

"Hundreds of people have taken the time to get in touch with us and give us their views and I thank them for doing so.

"This has been a fascinating debate about an important issue.

"The vast majority of people who got in touch with us were clear that they want Scotland to continue to improve and to regularly qualify for World Cups and European Championships.

"They understood that we do this by playing against better players and against different styles of teams.

But with tickets likely to cost in the region of £40, fans were unwilling to stump up the extra money for a midweek November game, especially with no guarantee that either country would be able to field their strongest side.

"This is why we have decided to cease negotiations with the agents who represent Argentina and are now involved in discussions with other countries about playing at Hampden in November," Smith explained.

"I firmly believe that consulting with the people who would be paying their hard earned money to watch this match was the right thing to do on this occasion.

"The range of views that we have received have all had one common thread - everyone wants to do what is best for Scotland.


"Once again, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to get in touch with us.

"I will always take decisions which I believe are good for Scottish football.

"However, when I think it is the right thing to do I will canvass opinions and speak to our supporters.

"Doing so is healthy for our game."

Scotland begin their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign in September with a double-header away to Macedonia and then Iceland.

George Burley's men have one friendly arranged before then, a game against Northern Ireland at Hampden on 20 August.

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